Minn. man arrested in Iowa for harassing bank employees with toy gun

Minn. man arrested in Iowa for harassing bank employees with toy gun
Authorities say that 20-year-old Simon Berihu Gebrehiwot was waving a gun and had a bandanna over his mouth while in the drive-thru lane at Northwest Bank in Estherville at approximately 9:40 a.m. on Thursday. (Source: Emmet County Jail)

ESTHERVILLE, Iowa (KEYC) — The Estherville Police Department reports that a Worthington, Minnesota, man was arrested for first-degree harassment on Thursday.

Authorities say that 20-year-old Simon Berihu Gebrehiwot was waving a gun and had a bandanna over his mouth while in the drive-thru lane at Northwest Bank in Estherville at approximately 9:40 a.m. on Thursday.

Estherville Police officers and Emmet County Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to the bank after receiving a call from a bank employee. The employee said that she did not believe that the gun was real, but was not sure.

Authorities report that Gebrehiwot had also pointed the gun at the bank’s security camera and pulled the trigger.

Officers and deputies arrived at the scene and confronted the suspect, along with the two other passengers inside the vehicle.

The suspects had complied with law enforcement, which resulted in two male suspects being detained during the investigation.

Following the investigation, it was determined that the gun was a toy, but video from the bank’s security cameras had confirmed that Gebrehiwot had pulled the bandanna up around his mouth and nose several times during the incident.

Gebrehiwot was arrested for first degree harassment. Law enforcement agents later learned that he also had an outstanding warrant for his arrest through the Minnesota Department of Corrections for a parole violation, with the original charge being threats of violence.

He was later transported to the Emmet County Jail where he was booked and awaits an initial appearance before a magistrate.

The other occupants in the vehicle, including a small child, were released without charges following the initial investigation.

Law enforcement agents say additional charges from this incident may be pending.

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